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Impressionist & Modern Art Auction

Sotheby's

10 AM, November 5, 2009

Sale 8587

"Bord de Mer, Colloioure," by Matisse

Lot 106, "Bord de Mer, Collioure," by Henri Matisse, watercolor on paper, 8 1/8 by 10 ¼ inches, circa 1905

By Carter B. Horsley

This day sale of Impressionist & Modern Art at Sotheby's November 5, 2009 is highlighted by a very fine Fauve watercolor by Henri Matisse, a very strong landscape by Gustave Caillebotte, an excellent still life by James Ensor, a very good early drawing by Pablo Picasso, an impressive metaphysical painting by Giorgio de Chirico, a good seascape by Albert Marquet, an imposing work by Gabriele Munter, and a striking painting by Robert Delaunay.

Lot 106 is the superb watercolor on paper by Henri Matisse. Entitled "Bord de Mer, Collioure," it measures 8 1/8 by 10 ¼ inches and was executed circa 1905. It has a conservative estimate of $50,000 to $70,000. It sold for $110,500 including the buyer's premium as do all results mentioned in this article.

"Les Champs, Plaine de Gennevilliers, Etude en Jaune et Vert" by Caillebotte

Lot 113, "Les Champs, Plaine de Gennevilliers, Etude en Jaune et Vert," by Gustave Caillebotte, oil on canvas, 21 ¼ by 25 ½ inches, circa 1884

Lot 113 is a very strong landscape by Gustave Caillebotte (1848-1894) that is entitled "Les Champs, Plaine de Gennevilliers, Etude en Jaune et Vert." An oil on canvas, it measures 21 ¼ inches by 25 ½ inches and was painted circa 1884. It has a conservative estimate of $200,000 to $300,000. It sold for $398,500.

"Magots, Pots et Coquillages" by Ensor

Lot 142, "Magots, Pots et Coquillages," by James Ensor, oil on canvas, 23 7/8 by 29 7/8 inches, 1931

James Ensor (1860-1949) is an eccentric 20th Century painter who was fascinated by masks and who favored reddish palettes. Lot 142, "Magots, Pots & Coquillages," is a fine still life by him. An oil on canvas, it measures 23 7/8 by 29 7/8 inches and was painted in 1931. It has a conservative estimate of $120,000 to $180,000. It sold for $206,500.

The catalogue provides the following commentary:

"James Ensor is widely considered one of the finest Belgian painters of the 20th Century. His unique style and subject matter show a clear reaction to pointillism and a strong influence from the old masters of Northern Europe. In depicting this still life of sundry objects, Ensor shows a strange fascination with the weird and wonderful artifacts and ornaments of his mother's souvenir shops in Ostende, where he grew up as a child. The painterly and mannered approach to his work makes the otherwise mundane objects come alive in a bold and color-filled composition."

Study of racehorses by Degas

Lot 146, study of racehorses, Edgar Degas

Lot 146 is a study for a painting of the same name that was once owned by John Hay Whitney and which was sold November 4, 2009 at Sotheby's evening auction. The subject was painted four times by Edgar Degas (1834-1917) and the catalogue notes that the "prototype" is in the collection of the Clark art Institute and that other drawings are in the Walters Art Gallery and Hill-Stead Museum. It has an estimate of $200,000 to $250,000. It sold for $302,500.

Lot 148 is a very fine charcoal and colored crayon on paper by Pablo Picasso (1881-1973). Entitled "Desigualdad (Négalité)," it measures 6 by 9 ¼ inches and was executed in 1901. It has a modest estimate of $100,000 to $150,000. It sold for $182,500.

"In October of 1900," the catalogue notes, "both Pablo Picasso and his close friend Carles Casagemas left Barcelona for Paris in order to see the conclusion of the Exposition Universelle, where Picasso had a painting on view in the Spanish Pavilion….Their Parisian sojourn was short-lived, however, and the two artists soon ran out of funds….A fortnight after their return to Spain, Picasso urged his brooding friend to accompany him to Malaga in an effort to cheer him up. Casagemas' mood was sourced by the absence of his lover and muse, Germaine…, whom he met shortly after arriving in Paris. To his dismay, Germaine rebuffed his demand for her to leave her husband….Longing to see her again, the forlorn Casagemas returned to Paris in February of 1901. Shortly after his arrival, however, Casagemas attempted to shoot Germaine in public view with friends while dining at the Hippodrome and turned his gun on himself. The suicide of Carles Casagemas had a profound impact on the cadre of Catalan ex-patriots….no one was more devastated than Picasso, his closest friend, who was in Madrid at the time. Picasso's sullen mood was quickly reflected by his artistic output resulting in the so-called Blue Period."

Lot 114 is a small pen and ink and charcoal drawing on paper by Picasso of a standing naked woman. Executed in 1906, it has an estimate of $200,000 to $300,000. It is property of the Arthur M. Sackler Collections. It failed to sell.

Lot 180 is a large wool tapestry by Le Corbusier (1887-1965). Entitled "L'Etrange Oiseau et Le Taureau," it measures 90 by 143 1/8 inches and is number 6 in an edition of 6. It has an estimate of $20,000 to $30,000. It failed to sell. The catalogue notes that Le Corbusier rarely explained his works but did remarked that in this tapestry, the "strange" bird is a multi-colored crow with a red masculine face and represents him.

Lot 197 is a very fine drawing of Arthur Lowenstein, the composer, by Egon Schiele (1890-1918). The colored pencil and charcoal on paper measures 9 1/8 by 9 ¼ inches and was drawn in 1909. It has an estimate of $150,000 to $250,000. It failed to sell. Lowenstein was a member of the Neukunstgruppe, an independent artists' collective formed in reaction to the conservative teachings of the Vienna Academy of Arts, according to the catalogue entry, and Schiele had persuaded him to join the group.

Trovatore" by de Chirico

Lot 254, "Trovatore," by Giorgio de Chirico, oil on canvas, 39 5/8 by 27 ½ inches, 1949

Lot 254 is a large and impressive painting by Giorgio de Chirico (1888-1968). Entitled "Trovatore," it is an oil on canvas that measures 39 5/8 by 27 ½ inches and was painted in 1949. It has an estimate of $400,000 to $600,000. It sold for $1,734,500.

The catalogue notes that the work "marks de Chirico's return to some of his earlier and most iconic themes," adding that "A brightly colored, totemic structure stands in a dusk-lie square based on a piazza in Ferrara, a scene featured in his Metafisica paintings of the 1910s." "The celebrated figure of de Chirico's Trovatore series is a re-imagination of the artist himself, of the melancholic poet trapped in an enigmatic reality….The faceless man, constructed from an assortment of instruments and geometric shapes, originated in the intense intellectual and artistic collaboration between de Chirico, his brother, Alberto Savinio and the poet Guillaume Apollinaire."

"Voilliers à Sète," by Marquet

Lot 136, "Voiliers à Sète," by Albert Marquet, oil on canvas, 25 ¾ by 31 7/8 inches, 1924

The cover illustration of the catalogue is Lot 136, "Voiliers à Sète," a luminous marine painting by Albert Marquet (1875-1947). An oil on canvas, it measures 25 ¾ by 31 7/8 inches and was painted in 1924. It has an estimate of $400,000 to $600,000. It sold for $638,500.

"Jeunes Filles à Argenteuil" by Renoir

Lot 143, "Jeunes Filles a Argenteuil," by Pierre-Auguste Renoir, oil on canvas, 21 ¼ by 25 ½ inches, circa 1896

Lot 143 is a lovely oil sketch by Pierre-Auguste Renoir (1841-1919) of young girls standing by a boat in Argenteuil. An oil on canvas that measures 21 ¼ by 25 ½ inches, it was executed circa 1896. It has an estimate of $650,000 to $950,000. It failed to sell.

Arc en Ciel" by Delaunay

Lot 162, "Arc en Ciel," by Robert Delaunay, encaustic on canvas laid down on board, 14 7/8 by 22 ¾ inches, 1914

Lot 162 is a dramatic encaustic on canvas laid down on board by Robert Delaunay (1885-1941). Entitled "Arc en Ciel," it depicts a rainbow with the Eiffel Tower in the background. It measures 14 7/8 by 22 ¾ inches and was painted in 1914. It sold for $362.500.

The work, according to the catalogue entry, "is an iconic example of the artist's revolutionary transition away from his earlier Cubist style towards his initiation of the Orphist movement….Delaunay's study of color theory was influenced by the painting of Georges Seurat, whose use of contrasting and complementary colors in his pointillist compositions revolutionized painting at the end of the 19th century. Delaunay expanded upon the expressive potential of color in his painting, allowing an emphasis on color to dominate over the strictures of form."

Lot 195 is an excellent landscape by Gabriele Munter (1877-1962) entitled "Landscaft mit Einoedhof (Landscape with Farmhouse)." An oil on canvas, it measures 34 ¾ by 25 ¾ inches and was painted circa 1914. It has an estimate of $500,000 to $800,000. It sold for $722,500. The catalogue notes that the painting "is a wonderful panoramic depiction of the Bavarian countryside surrounding the small town, Murnau," adding that "after many years of traveling throughout Europe with her companion Wassily Kandinsky, she returned with him to Munich in late 1908 and shortly afterwards discovered the enchanting village of Murnau….In 1911, Kandinsky and Munter together with fellow artists such as Alexej von Jawlensky, Franc Marc and August Macke founded the avant-garde movement der Blaue Reiter."

"Composition" by Bauer

Lot 196, "Composition," by Rudolf Bauer, oil on canvas, 34 ¼ by 39 inches, 1918

Rudolf Bauer (1889-1953) was, according to the catalogue, a principal innovator and exponent of Non-objective painting and he became a prominent figure in the avant-garde circle at Herwarth Walden's famed Galerie Der Sturm, alongside fellow luminaries such as Paul Klee, Franz Marc and Wassily Kandinsky.

Lot 196, "Composition" is a superb example of Bauer's work and is an oil on canvas that measures 34 ¼ by 39 inches. Executed in 1918, it has a modest estimate of $150,000 to $200,000. It sold for $290,500. This work was once in the collection of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York.

See The City Review article on the Fall 2009 Impressionist & Modern Art evening auction at Christie's

See The City Review article on the Fall 2009 Impressionist & Modern Art evening auction at Sotheby's

See The City Review article on the Spring 2009 Impressionist & Modern Art evening auction at Sotheby's

See The City Review article on the Spring 2009 Impressionist & Modern Art evening auction at Christie's

See The City Review article on the Fall 2008 Impressionist & Modern Art evening auction at Christie's

See The City Review article on the Fall 2008 Impressionist & Modern Art evening auction at Sotheby's

See The City Review article on the Spring 2008 Impressionist & Modern Art evening auction at Christie's

See The City Review article on the Spring 2008 Impressionist & Modern Art evening auction at Sotheby's

See The City Review article on the Fall 2007 Impressionist & Modern Art evening auction at Sotheby's

See The City Review article on the Spring 2007 Impressionist & Modern Art evening auction at Christie's

See The City Review article on the Spring 2007 Impressionist & Modern Art auction at Sotheby's

See The City Review article on the Fall 2006 Impressionist & Modern Art auction at Sotheby's

See The City Review article on the Spring 2006 Impressionist & Modern Art evening auction at Sotheby's

See The City Review article on the Spring 2006 Impressionist & Modern Art evening auction at Christie's

See The City Review article on the Fall 2005 Impressionist & Modern Art evening auction at Christie's

See The City Review article on the Impressionist & Modern Art evening auction at Sotheby's November 2, 2005

See The City Review article on the Impressionist & Modern evening sale at Sotheby's in the Spring, 2005

See The City Review article on the Impressionist & Modern Art evening auction in the Fall, November, 2005

See The City Review article on the Impressionist & Modern Art day auction at Sotheby's November 5, 2004

See The City Review article on the Impressionist & Modern Art evening auction at Christie's May 4, 2004

See The City Review article on the Impressionist & Modern Art day auction at Christie's May 5, 2004

See The City Review article on the May 5, 2004 evening auction at Sotheby's of Property of the Greentree Foundation from the Collection of Mr. and Mrs. John Hay Whitney

See The City Review article on the Impressionist & Modern Art evening auction at Sotheby's May 6, 2004

See The City Review article on the Spring 2004 Impressionist & Modern Art day auction at Sotheby's

See The City Review article on the Fall 2003 Impressionist & Modern Art evening auction at Sotheby's

See The City Review article on the Fall 2003 Impressionist & Modern Art evening auction at Christie's

See The City Review article on the Spring 2003 Impressionist & Modern Art evening auction at Christie's

See The City Review article on Spring 2003 Impressionist & Modern Art day auction at Christie's

See The City Review article on the Spring 2003 Impressionist & Modern Art evening auction at Sotheby's

See The City Review article on the Spring 2003 Impressionist & Modern Art Part 2 day auction at Sotheby's

See The City Review article on the Fall 2002 Impressionist & Modern Art evening auction at Sotheby's

See The City Review article on the Fall 2002 Impressionist & Modern Art evening auction at Phillips de Pury & Luxembourg

See The City Review article on the Spring 2002 Impressionist & Modern Art day auction at Christie's

See The City Review article on the Spring 2002 Impressionist Art evening auction at Sotheby's

See The City Review article on the Spring 2002 Impressionist Art Part Two day auction at Sotheby's

See The City Review article on the Nov. 5, 2001 auction of the Smooke Collection at Phillips de Pury & Luxembourg

See The City Review article on the Nov. 5, 2001 auction of the Hoener Collection at Phillips de Pury & Luxembourg

See The City Review article on Phillips May 7, 2001 Impressionist & Modern Art auction

See The City Review article on the November 9, 2001 Impressionist & Modern Art auction at Sotheby's

See The City Review article on Phillips Fall 2000 Impressionist & Modern Art auction

 

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